Shantell Martineau, YESS Programming Coordinator, has been hosting Medicine Walks with youth twice a week for the month of August, right in our own Edmonton River Valley.
On these walks Shantell shares knowledge about the traditional medicines of sage and sweetgrass, medicines she has been taught to pick by kokum (grandmother). Shantell shares with youth how to use these medicines to support spiritual healing and growth.
“We hold a small ceremony at the site where we find these medicines and offer tobacco as an offering to Mother Earth. It is by this offering that we then pick the medicines in a good way to not damage the plants and leave it so it will return for many years to come.
“The ceremony also teaches us how to do our own part to protect Mother Earth, and to think about our own personal footprint we leave behind when we visit the land. Medicine picking does this natural teaching to make us acknowledge that the land is not ours but is a gift for us to protect so future generations can thrive.”
If you are interested in cultural experiences with Indigenous leaders in our community, check out Bent Arrow Traditional Healing Society. They post upcoming virtual programming on their Facebook page.
- Cycle Breaker. I was the first in my family to graduate from high school with a diploma, and the first to attend a university and graduate from post-secondary
- I am the Mother of three future Cycle Breakers, two dogs, and a cat.
- Why I do what I do? The youth are the future! Why not do my part and invest in the future. They will change the world if given the opportunity.